TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Daniel Loren
3381 Diamond Key Court
Punta Gorda, FL 33955
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with a 4.74 acre saltwater forested mangrove swamp. The project site is located at Vincent Ave, Strap# (01-43-22-00-00001.0000), in Section 1, Township 43 South, Range 22 East, Punta Gorda, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Fort Myers follow the Mid-point Bridge to Cape Coral and continue down Veterans Memorial Parkway until it turns into Burnt Store Road. Continue down Burnt Store Rd for approximately 9 miles to Vincent Avenue and make left. Proceed on Vincent Ave for approximately 1.25 miles and the property will be located at the end of Vincent Ave.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.76924°
Basic: Residential development
Overall: To construct a single family residence with access to Charlotte Harbor in Punta Gorda, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a 4.74 acre saltwater system. The onsite vegetation consists of mainly Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) with smaller quatities of Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of the same type of vegetation above with an elevated storm ridge on the western side that additionally contains some Seaside maho (Thespesia populnea), Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), Sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera), and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge approximately 2,300 cubic yards of clean fill into 0.48 acres of saltwater forested wetlands for the construction of a single family residence and construct a 0.02 acre elevated walkway to Charlotte Harbor from the proposed residence.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:
The subject parcel is entirely wetlands, therefore, avoidance of impacts to wetlands is not possible. The proposed house and driveway have been located away from the coastline which minimizes impacts to the functions of the mangrove wetlands on the fringe of the aquatic ecosystem and the adjacent benthic seagrass ecosystem. The remaining 4.24 acres of high quality wetlands onsite will be preserved. In consideration of the site specific conditions and minimal size of the proposed residence, the applicant expressed the opinion that the project avoids and minimizes work affecting wetlands to the maximum extent practicable.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant has proposed to purchase 0.42 saltwater forested mitigation credits from Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank in accordance with the use of the Little Pine Island Functional Assessment method.
The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 0.48 acres of mangrove swamp utilized by various life stages of Penaeid Shrimp Complex, Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), Reef fish (various spp.), Migratory/Pelagic fish (various spp.), Snapper/Grouper Complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program. The jurisdictional line has not been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd, Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919 within 21 days from the date of this notice.
The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.
QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Steven Rabney, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd, Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919; by electronic mail at email@example.com; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975 x0009.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.
EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board. In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.